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XXX

IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO ANSWER THEM

BUT let not all these insoluble questions drive us towards fear. From the point of view of our future beyond the grave, it is in no way necessary that we should have an answer to everything. Whether the universe have already found its consciousness, whether it find it one day or see it everlastingly, it could not exist for the purpose of being unhappy and of suffering, neither ,n its entirety, nor in any one of its parts; and it matters little if the latter be invisible or incommensurable, considering that the smallest is as great as the greatest in what has neither limit nor measure. To torture a point is the same thing as to torture the worlds; and, if it torture the worlds, it is its own substance that it tortures. Its very destiny, in which we are placed, protects us. Our sufferings there could be but ephemeral; and nothing matters that is not eternal. It is possible, although somewhat incomprehensible, that parts should err and go astray; but it is impossible that sorrow should be one of its lasting and necessary laws; for it would have brought that law to bear against itself. In like manner, the universe is and must be its own law and its sole master: if not, the law or the master whom it must obey would then be the universe; and the centre of a word which we pronounce without being able to grasp its scope would be simply displaced. Iflt be unhappy, that means that it wills its own unhappiness; if it will its unhappiness, it is mad; and, if it appear to us mad, that means that our reason works contrary to everything and to the only laws possible, seeing that they are eternal, or, to speak more humbly, that it judges what it wholly fails to understand.


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